History of Curtis Creek School

  • Curtis Creek School District was formed by order of the County Board of Supervisors on May 16, 1865, with approximately 25 students. The first school building was a small temporary house built for about $130.00.  The original building was located on a small flat on the east side of Sullivan Creek where the old road to Cherokee Camp crossed.  This location is north of the present day Sullivan Creek bridge on Highway 108, about 300 yards up stream. The location of the school did not please many parents because the school was far from where most of the students lived.  The school was moved two miles east onto land donated by ranch owner Riley Alexander Gilkey.

    In 1873, a new school house was erected. It was a single room construction, 32 feet long and 22 feet wide. The new building had eight windows with a veranda on all sides, and a small bell added as a final touch to call all the students to class. After the town of Standard formed, the School Board met and later erected a new school in May, 1915 at 18755 Standard Road.

    Many well known Tuolumne County teachers have taught at Curtis Creek School: George Phillip, Ted Ortega, M.W. Brooks, Jannin Fahey, Annie Booth, Catherine Warne, Alice Warne, Mamie Burke, Nelly Doly, Winnie Gallagher and Pearl Murrow Hoskins. Some of the County records have been lost and so this list is not complete. The average monthly income for a teacher in the 1900's was $60.00. In 1921 the Curtis Creek District ran out of funds, and some teachers taught that year without a salary, and didn't ask for backpay or a raise later.

    Some of the Principals at Curtis Creek before 1955 were: Mrs. Fasse, W.C. McKee, R.I. Salmon, Mrs. Sadie Nichols, H. Nina, and U. Bension. In the mid 1930's, a two room auditorium and an office were added to the school and more changes occurred after 1940. The girls' basement was divided in half and a school lunch program started - the first in Tuolumne County! Mrs. Charlotte Proctor was the first cook to prepare hot lunches. She made about 70 hot lunches a day.

    Other employees of the school were: Warden Black, Beth Parke, Fred Reitz, James Harry, Ben Zeigler, Gardner Woodhoms, Felix Gramwell and Clif Suttle.

    Today, the school is a large school and only one of the original buildings remain and it is used as an office located at the school's entrance.